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Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 07:04 am ACDT

Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off

Australia

The AFL's release of the news that Nicole Livingstone has been appointed as the Head of Women's football came through early this morning via press release.

I am glad to see that a woman has been appointed to the position. I think that there are perhaps many women with a better understanding of women's football and may have been a better choice, but am prepared to see what Nicole can do.  She will bring a high personal profile and national recognition to the position.  I respect and have enjoyed what she has done in sport and in the media. 

The cynical side of me says that she may be a puppet of the AFL commission in place to head nod to their agenda overall rather than to represent the interests of women's footy. But that's not really my biggest concern.

In the statement, where she was directly quoted it appears that she sees the game only as Australian.

“The growth of women’s AFL has been extraordinary. Every Australian girl can now actively pursue footy as their passion, past time or career. Importantly girls can now follow their dreams and as they do, we will continue to break down any barriers that may exist. 

“I’m excited by the challenge of growing the sport from a community grass roots level right through to high performance along with ensuring the league is commercially sustainable.

“There are many passionate AFL people around the country, all wanting to see the AFLW find its place in the hearts and minds of Australians and I look forward to connecting with them,” she said. 

I would encourage women (and girls) from every league and country playing the game around the world to contact Nicole and let her know you are out there as soon as possible.  Let her know that every decision she makes she should consider all women in the game, not just those located on Australian terra firma. Let her know that you love the game too and have football dreams just like those girls in Australia. Let her know you are along for the ride and that it would be negligent for her to leave you behind.

If she is smart she would quickly put together a committee of world women's footy to get her up to speed and consult with.

Good luck Nicole but please take those green and gold blinkers off. 

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Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off
Authored by: Jarren on Friday, November 17 2017 @ 03:05 pm ACDT

Umm, Yes, yes but NO.
Overly critical, to the point of harping, and unbalanced. Implying she is there as a puppet, based on? If its based on nothing, then you could have said it about anybody they appointed. Critiquing a comment of several lines because it doesn't mention overseas participation. American football has an Australian comp, and Australians have been represented in American football both at a NFL and a college level, but to then be looking for reference to Australia in any 1 paragraph statement by an official is ridiculous.

There is great growth in activity in womens football overseas, but still 99% of all activity in women's football is occurring here, and that is where her focus needs to be. Its not blinkers, its her job.

Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, November 17 2017 @ 11:47 pm ACDT

Have to agree with your sentiments, Troy.
Pity Nicole's appointment came after the International Cup, where she would have seen the passion and desire to follow the dream of playing Australian Football in those 150 or so girls and women that mostly paid their own way(forked out between $1000 and $5000 and more to get to Melbourne) and as they say, busted a gut, (and a leg I think) over two weeks playing for their country.

I must say I enjoyed watching those girls playing just as much as I enjoyed the AFLW games earlier in the year.
It will be a sad indictment by the AFL if the dreams and passion of those girls and the hundreds if not thousands of girls from the other countries are ignored because they are not Australians and supposedly only represent 1% of women playing Aussie Footy across the world. (South Africa and PNG junior's playing AFL number into the thousands I believe).

Nicole does say in her statement that she is "excited by the challenge of growing the sport from a community grass roots level right through to high performance etc.". I just hope she realises that the international footy community is NOW a considerable part of the grass roots of the sport, especially women's footy. (17 + countries playing women's footy at last count)

The cynical side of me would have been put completely to rest if the rest of her statement had been "There are many passionate AFL people around the world, all wanting to see the AFLW find its place in the hearts and minds of women around the world etc. etc.". Umm. yes, yes but NO, unfortunately!

AS the Head of of Women's Football in the AFL(World Ruling Body) the CHALLENGE really is to grow the sport right across the WORLD, and she would be doing AFL(Australian Rules Football) a huge dis-service if her job is restricted to just Australia.

Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Sunday, November 19 2017 @ 09:41 pm ACDT

All fair calls Jarren. I do have to hand it to Gil and the commission on doing a top job of the AFLW so far. Nicole has been appointed by the AFL and if not a puppet I do expect her to represent the commissions position first and foremost. And some would say that would be a good thing.

I have subsequently seen her suggest she has a lot to learn, to get up to speed on women's footy. And again I would appeal to women around the world to help her knowledge by introducing themselves and educating Nicole that the game is not contained to Australian shores.

Get in on the ground floor.

I truly hope she is successful and as the Head of Women's footy is able to represent the interests of all women and the game they play.

Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, November 20 2017 @ 02:11 pm ACDT

Women's clubs in Canada

Alberta Women’s league Ontario Women’s League (100)
Calgary Kookaburras Etobicoke Kangaroos
Edmonton Emus Toronto Central Blues
High Park Demons
Hamilton Wildcats
Quebec Women’s Australian Football League
Rep Team: Montreal Angels BC Women’s league
Eastern Devils West Coast Wildcats
Plateau Eagles Vancouver Vixens
NDG Giants
Carleton Warriors*
Ottawa Rideau Shamrocks* *Ottawa Lady Swans

Women’s Clubs in United States Of America

Arizona Lady Hawks (17) Baltimore/Washington Boston Lady Demons (16)
Columbus Jillaroos (16) Denver Lady Bulldogs (36) Minnesota Lady Freeze (38)
New York Lady Magpies (24) Sacramento Lady Suns (34) Portland Sockeyes
Tulsa Buffaloes -(Bridgetown Banshees)
San Francisco Iron Maidens (43) – Breakers
- Sirens
# in brackets known and named registered players 2016/17
all playing AFL (Australian Rules Football) not the lingerie version of American (Gridiron/NFL) either.

Women’s Clubs in South Australia

Adelaide Uni West Adelaide Morphettville Park
Salisbury Port Adelaide Modbury
Div 2
Angle Vale Christies Beach Mt Lofty
Greenacres Mt Barker Ingle Farm

Your opinion duly noted, Jarren, but it would be better accepted by the International Footy Community and footy fans in general if your percentages were derived from having some knowledge of what is actually happening in women's footy internationally. Your 99% of activity in women's footy happening in Australia and only 1% happening outside Aussie would actually put the activity of women's footy in South Australia at some where less than about 0.01%.

Your 1% v 99% would be way off actual real activity going on in women's footy across the world.

Please note: Women's footy is being played regularly in about a dozen countries and has been taken up being played in six or seven other countries in the last several years. (not an actual league got going yet).

Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 06:10 pm ACDT

Not to undermine the international argument (I don't think the raw numbers are all that important in this debate), but Cam the number of women's teams/players is probably more important than the number of clubs, and in South Australia has exploded in the last few years. So in the example of South Australia the teams in 2017 were:

Div 1 - Adelaide Uni, West Adelaide, Morphettville Park, Salisbury, Port Adelaide, Modbury

Div 2 - Angle Vale, Christies Beach, Mount Lofty, Greenacres, Mount Barker, Adelaide Uni, Morphettville Park, Ingle Farm

Div 3 - Flinders Uni, Gaza, North Pines, Port Adelaide, West Adelaide, Eastern Park, Angle Vale, Western Suburbs

Div 4 - Happy Valley, Adelaide Uni, Christies Beach, Morphettville Park, Ironbank Cherry Gardens, Mount Lofty, Nairne Bremer, Kangarilla

Div 5 - Strathalbyn, Salisbury, Mount Barker, Golden Grove, North Haven, Aldinga


I count (quickly) 30 teams. Amazing. I can remember when it was about 4 sides just maybe 10 years ago. And all or mostly 18-a-side plus a 10 team U18s and many many junior sides. And we know involvement in SA has only just boomed after lagging well behind most other states.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Opinion: New Head of Women's Football Needs To Take The Blinkers Off
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, November 18 2017 @ 11:00 am ACDT

I'm pretty disappointed with AFLW support for international women's footy (the answer to my pleas for international rookie spots was knocked back again as unnecessary, more on that later). But yeah I think it's maybe a bit early to raise the puppet suggestion, better to try to win the argument first, I'm hoping Nicole will be an agent for change. We'll see.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN